“The teacher must derive not only the capacity, but the desire, to observe natural phenomena. The teacher must understand and feel her position of observer: the activity must lie in the phenomenon.” Maria Montessori
Our teachers are our school’s greatest assets. We are very fortunate to work with such gifted educators, both in our classrooms and in the larger school environment. Here is a bit of background on each.
After completing her B.A. in Literature and Classical Studies, Melody began her career in Early Education in 1990. She has worked with children from infancy to school-aged in university and college lab-schools, literacy groups and Montessori schools. In addition to teaching and guiding children, Melody was a college instructor in Early Education. She has also enjoyed designing and facilitating early literacy programs for young children and their families as well as Montessori enrichment and remedial programs to support children from all educational backgrounds in language and mathematics. In her spare time, Melody combines her love of literature, creative expression and children to write novels and storybooks for young children.
In 2004, Melody earned her Association Montessori Internationale Casa teaching certification from the Foundation for Montessori Education. This evolution in her career was the result of a growing frustration with traditional early education programs and philosophies and an increasing awareness of alternative educational theories and outcomes garnered through her extensive travels and research.
Melody has practiced and refined her skills in an effort to create an environment that honours and embodies Montessori theory, materials and practice but also extends into the arts and the community at large, representing a true Montessori spirit of peace and respect for all children. This is the impetus for The Orchard Montessori School.
Holly completed degrees in English, Psychology and Social Work then worked for many years in advertising, design and editorial illustration. Her daughter’s experience in Montessori proved transformative and in 2012, she co-founded The Orchard with Melody, acting as its administrative lead before completing her Elementary training in 2015. The school began with only seven students in the front room of Holly’s home and has grown to over sixty students with programs serving children from ages 2-12 years in a school building on Dovercourt.
The mission in founding The Orchard was to provide families with a traditional Montessori education that reflected the interests of the community of children it serves. This has evolved to include key emphasis on the arts and natural sciences in a bilingual environment. She has completed her certifications in Model United Nations and World Peace Game facilitation as well as Restorative Yoga Teacher Training. Holly leads the grade 6-7-8 programme and the gallery at The Lyceum on Queen Street West.
Holly enjoys writing, visual art, travel, pilates and making things up. Her favourite subjects at school are botany, poetry and geometry.
Maude has extensive experience working with children in Québec and Ontario. After moving to Toronto, she completed her Montessori teaching certificate in 2010 and worked exclusively within the French Montessori system. She is passionate about supporting and guiding children. Maude’s main role, is to facilitate and aid in the running of the school in order to best support Montessori. If you have a question, she is the first point of contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
When Maude is not teaching, she can be found taking nature walks, kayaking and enjoying the outdoors. She also loves to cook and takes pleasure in trying out new foods and discovering the city.
Katherine has worked with children in various settings for 35 years. She began her career as a camp counsellor and later camp director at a residential camp for developmentally challenged children. After completing her Bachelor of Social Work at Ryerson University, Katherine took her AMI Primary diploma at the Foundation for Montessori Education followed by her Lower and Upper Elementary diplomas and eventually, her Master Teacher certificate. She has been devoted to Montessori education for the past 26 years and has taught all levels from casa through grade 12. Katherine also ran her own school for ten years.
Working with Dr. Daniel Jutras as a Master Teacher, Katherine prepares elementary candidates at the Canadian Montessori Teacher Training Institute on a part time basis.
Katherine teaches the Elementary program at Orchard, which stands out for its cosmic scope. Children are encouraged to make deeper, inter-curricular investigations that find expression in novel ways. Most importantly, they are challenged to pause to consider the impact of their engagement with the world around them.
In her spare time, Katherine cultivates a keen interest in beekeeping.